By Dr. Meg Meeker
Dr. Meg wrote "Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters" not only to help fathers reconcile with their past, but also to help grown women begin to heal the little girl that's still hurting inside all these years later.
Why, then, when that same child turns 10, would a parent allow him to see movies appropriate for 14- to 17-year-olds? Or let 8-year-olds watch television programs that aren’t even appropriate for high school seniors? We know this activity is harmful to them. One study found that more than three out of four Americans felt that the way TV programs show sex encourages irresponsible sexual behavior.
It was Cosmopolitan. I asked her if it contained any worthwhile articles. She replied that she’d just bought it. She really hadn’t read it yet. She glanced at the cover, giggled, and started reading titles: “Seven Bad-Girl Bedroom Moves You Must Master,” “Erotic Tips to...” She stopped, blushing with embarrassment.
I know that many of you mothers are just like I am when it comes to disciplining children – you’re kind of a wimp. You just don’t want to do it because you are afraid your kids won’t like you. Or you could be feeling that you discipline all of the time and what you’re doing never works. No matter what you do, your kids just won’t listen to you.
Watching Target change signage in their stores reminds me of many interactions I’ve had with teenagers over the years trying to persuade them not to buckle to peer pressure.
Mothers view sons differently than they do their daughters. They have an instinctual desire to preserve their son’s masculinity and this means preserving the perception that her son is physically and mentally strong. She will never allow him to be at the bottom of the pecking order.
My problem is, my husband is the emotional, nurturing communicator of the family and I tend to have problems feeling emotions and expressing how I think and/or feel.
There is a world of difference between a mother having a healthy emotional connection with her son, and a son becoming so emotionally reliant on his mother that he becomes the prototypical boy who is overly dependent upon his mother—a “mama’s boy.”
I have hardly any relationship with my daughter anymore. I know I was (and am) a good mom but I seem to be at a crossroads with her. I feel that if we go much longer without communication, we will drift apart forever.
Though estrangement is the flip side of enmeshment, it is often the result of the same causes: divorce, single motherhood, or a history of sexual abuse. In this case, it causes a mother to feel estranged from her son simply because he is male.
When a son enters a mother’s life, many feelings from her own childhood are triggered. As she swaddles her new son and pulls him towards her chest, he becomes a catalyst for the eruption of emotions that may have been repressed many years earlier. This isn’t his fault. This is the normal and often healthy reaction of a parent.
The reality of a mother’s love is that it sometimes comes out sideways. Mothers are often tired, manipulated, and they make mistakes. They scream when they mean to apologize. They feel guilty that they have to work rather than stay at home with their children. They worry about all the things that can go wrong.
Studies reveal that most women talk about twice as much as men over the course of the day. Women are expressive, and that expressiveness helps mothers become the emotional connector within a family.
Because a mother can see through a gnarled physique, a low IQ, a beast-like temper, or a chronic disease right to the soul of her son, she can spot the beauty within him, which allows her to love him.
Mothers embody pride for sons and daughters from the moment they are born. They are proud because the child belongs to them, but beyond that defensive ownership a mother feels pride for her son because he is male.
Two years ago, I married the drummer of the church we attend and we had our baby girl. I found out that my husband is touching my older daughter and now he is facing criminal charges. My world has crumbled quickly...
My eldest son left us without any warning or contact information. He wrote us an email that says, “I am depressed and I want to live my own life with peace and quiet.” He took all of his belongings...
About four years ago, I noticed a distinct change in my husband's temperament. He began lashing out unexpectedly, and he began using an annoyed and irritated tone toward us.
In our sophisticated, electronics-saturated, post-modern culture, the threats to a boy’s health are insidious and terribly elusive. So good mothers keep their eyes wide open and their ears alert.
A mother may disapprove of her son’s behavior, girlfriend, sports, or music, but she will always love him.
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Connect With Dr. Meg Meeker
More Resources From Dr. Meg Meeker
A Message To Husbands and Wives
Don't Break Your Child's Spirit
The Influence of Friends
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